Recurring Decimals…..

Everything here is irrelevant

Gmail and Google Desktop

with one comment

Finally got my Gmail invite, courtesy of SFX, who are promoting the Mozilla Firefox browser. The invite was in response to placing a Firefox banner on my web-site. For those who have been living in a cave for the past year – Gmail is Google’s new e-mail service – launched earlier this year with an awesome 1GB storage space (“never ever having to delete you e-mail” !!). But the service is at the beta stage, so you can get an account only if you are invited. I beleive initial invitations were given out to regular bloggers @ Bolgspot. Those using the e-mail service in turn got a chance to send out invitations. This has, of course, created a cyberspace class-division of the g-mail haves and have nots. G-mail invites have been a hot commodity and have been bartered (there is web-site dedicated to gmail swapping), ‘e-bay’-ed or given away in promotions (as in my case). A look at this site will show how desperate some people are for an invite (one guys needs it to impress his girlfriend). Of course all this buzz is really great for Google (as if they needed any more publicity).
Anyway, there is the privacy issue with respect to G-mail. In very lay terms, Google is going to scan every incoming and outgoing mail for the message ‘context’ and delivers ads based on that. Privacy and civil rights groups are of course outraged. But there are others who are not so worried.
I have not made up my mind yet. To some extent, simply knowing how hyper the privacy and civil liberty unions are and how they often have knee-jerk reactions, perhaps the issue is kind of overblown (some more thoughts on that here). I would not really want someone out there to be building a ‘profile’ of myself based on what I am writing in private mails – but the question is whether Google is making up such profiles. Google says ‘no’ – but privacy groups are contending that there is nothing to stop Google from doing so in the future. Either way, gmail is not going to be my main e-mail right away – so I will just wait and watch.My other google related activity yesterday was to download the Google desktop. This is a search engine that will run on your desktop and can search keywords in your computer within files (Words, Power Point, Excel.), mails, cached web-pages etc. Unfortunately, the web and e-mail search features work only with IE and Outlook programs and not Firefox and Thunderbird. But people are trying to get google to add this feature. If you are a Firefox or Thuunderbird user – send in your request. So far, I have not really needed to use the search program – but I have tried out some obscure words and they returned resonable searches.
Beware though, the program requires a whopping 1GB storage !!
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Written by BongoP'o'ndit

October 19, 2004 at 10:06 am

Posted in Tech, Gadgets etc.

One Response

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  1. I finally came here between innings, and I just wanted to say that I also enjoy mixed drinks and the film Rashoman.

    Go sox,

    Brian

    Anonymous

    October 19, 2004 at 10:30 pm


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